Evel Knievel, American daredevil and entertainer, Died at 69

Dead, Robert Craig “Evel” Knievel on November 30, 2007 at the age of 69, he was an American daredevil and entertainer, born in Butte, Montana on October 17, 1938, Knievel ended high school after his sophomore (second) year and got a job in the copper mines with the Anaconda Mining Company as a diamond drill operator.

However, he preferred motorbiking to all this “unimportant stuff”, as he put it.

He was then promoted to surface duty where he drove a large earth mover.

Knievel was fired when he made the earth mover do a motorcycle-type wheelie and drove it into Butte’s main power line. \

The incident left the city without electricity for several hours.

Without work, Knievel began to find himself in more and more trouble around Butte.

After a police chase in 1956 in which he crashed his motorcycle, Knievel was taken to jail on a charge of reckless driving.

When the night jailer came around to check the roll, he noted Robert Knievel in one cell and William Knofel in the other.

Raised by his grandparents in Butte, a copper-mining town, he began doing motorcycle stunts as a teenager.

Knievel married hometown girlfriend, Linda Joan Bork, in 1959. They separated in the early 1990s.

They had four children, Kelly, Robbie, Tracey and Alicia.

After Evel retired, he managed Robbie’s stunt career.

Knievel married his longtime partner, Krystal Kennedy-Knievel in 1999.

They divorced a few years later but remained together.

Knievel had 10 grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

In 1999, he underwent a liver transplant after nearly dying of hepatitis C, which he believed he had contracted from a blood transfusion after one of his many violent spills.

Knievel started the Butte Bombers, a semi-pro hockey team.

To help promote his team and earn some money, he convinced the 1960 Olympic Czechoslovakian hockey team to play the Butte Bombers in a warm-up game to the Olympics.

Knievel was ejected from the game minutes into the third period and left the stadium.

When the Czechoslovakian officials went to the box office to collect the expense money the team was promised, workers discovered the game receipts had been stolen.

The United States Olympic Committee wound up paying the Czechoslovakian team’s expenses to avoid an international incident.

After the birth of his first son, Kelly, Knievel realized that he needed to come up with a new way to support his family financially.

Using the hunting and fishing skills his grandfather had taught him, Knievel started the Sur-Kill Guide Service.

He guaranteed that if a hunter employed his service and paid his fee, they would get the big game animal they wanted or he would refund their money.

Business was very good until game wardens realized that Knievel was taking his clients into Yellowstone National Park to find prey.

Knievel, 29, used his own money to have actor/director John Derek produce a film of the Caesars’ jump.

To keep costs low, Derek used his then-wife Linda Evans as one of the camera operators.

It was Evans who filmed Knievel’s famous landing.

On the morning of the jump, Knievel stopped in the casino and placed his last 100 dollars on the blackjack table (which he lost), stopped by the bar and had a shot of Wild Turkey and then headed outside where he was joined by several members of the Caesars staff, as well as two showgirls.

After doing his normal pre-jump show and a few warm up approaches, Knievel began his real approach.

When he hit the takeoff ramp, he felt the motorcycle unexpectedly decelerate.